Skylineosx

Hackintosh Resources and Guides

A New Design

It’s no secret that WordPress sucks. It’s insecure, slow and full of features that I have no need for on this site. So, I’m getting rid of it. I’m recreating the site using Jekyll. This will make the site a lot easier to manage, and it should make it much faster as well. WordPress has quite a bit of overhead by being a giant PHP app. Jekyll simply renders out static HTML and then that gets served.

I still have a few features I want to add and things I want to sort out, but I expect the new site will be up in a week or so.

Develop on OSX with Docker

What is Docker, and why use it on your Hackintosh/Mac?

OSX is a great platform for software development. However, sometimes you need linux specific applications to run or at least to test your software. Traditionally, you would do this by creating virtual machines with Virtualbox and running full on linux environments for your applications.

This can be done much more efficiently with Docker. Docker deploys a minimal linux environment on your machine and then creates containers for any applications you need to deploy. These containers are separate at the application level, so they don’t conflict with each other. Another benefit is that you can configure say, a webserver on your hackintosh through docker, and then you can simply copy that container to your linux server and initialize it.

How to install

Docker has a helper application for OSX called boot2docker. It starts up a minimal virtual environment from which to start up docker containers.

Running Docker

Once you start boot2docker, you can use docker just as if you were running it on a linux box. To start and stop boot2docker use the following commands

boot2docker start

boot2docker stop

Now that you have boot2docker running you can initialize containers to work from. To start up an Ubuntu image, enter the following command.

sudo docker run -t -i ubuntu:14.04 /bin/bash

This will download an Ubuntu 14.04 image and run it in docker.  the -t -i options will drop you into a terminal window for that docker container. You can then treat the terminal as if it were running on a native Ubuntu install complete with apt-get and networking.

It is also possible to port forward from your native machine to your container by using the -p option. For example:

sudo docker run -p 8080:80 -t -i ubuntu:14.04 /bin/bash

This would forward port 80 in your container to port 8080 on your mac. If you start a webserver in your container, you could view it in your browser by going to http://localhost:8080.

You can exit the container at any time by typing exit. The to stop the container simply run

docker stop

For other distributions and use cases visit the Docker Hub. This is a repository with loads of applications and distributions pre-configured. All you have to do is type the run command and they will download and run. For more information on Docker and how to use it check out the Docker user guide.

Building An Audio Workstation Hackintosh

I’m going to do a series on Hackintoshes designed for a specific purpose. Since one of my other hobbies is making music, I thought it would be fitting to start with a machine designed to be an audio workstation.

At the end of the guide is a zip archive with all the kexts and tools for this build.

CPU

Modern synthesizers take a good bit of CPU power, so you will want a top of the line CPU in your audio workstation.

i7-4790

i7-4790k Only buy the unlocked model if you are going to overclock.

Motherboard

For an audio workstation, you’re going to want a motherboard with lots of I/O ports and PCI slots so you can expand as needed.

Gigabyte z97x-ud5h

Graphics Card

A super high end GPU isn’t critical in an audio machine, but you still want to be able to handle running 2 or 3 monitors at 1080p. I’ve seen some builds recommending integrated graphics for an audio workstation, but that isn’t ideal because you are running your graphics through the CPU’s power.

EVGA GTX 750 This card will require the Nvidia web drivers to work in OSX, but it’s very well suited to this build.

Memory

If you plan to do anything with sampled libraries or high quality exporting, you will want 16gb of RAM.

Corsair Vengence 16GB

Storage

I recommend using an SSD for your applications and operating system; however, you should not run projects from an SSD as the large volume of reads and writes can wear out an SSD fairly quickly. In other words you will want to keep these two volumes separate, so don’t set up a fusion drive.

SanDisk 128GB SSD

Western Digital Black 2TB HDD

Power Supply

Techniclly this machine should run at about 400-450W, but given that it’s not too much more expensive it’s a better idea to get a higher power PSU in case you want to add more devices later.

Corsair 600W PSU

Audio Interface

You won’t want to  use the built in audio interface for high end audio work. Your choice of interface is going to depend a lot on what your needs are. I don’t do much recording so all I need is outputs for my monitors and input for my midi devices. The general rule with these is that if they support OSX they’ll work.

Here are some recommendations for smallish studio setups.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

M Audio M-track

M Audio M-track QUAD

Case

In an audio workstation a silent case is very much needed.

Fractal Design Define R4

CPU Cooler

One of the main noise sources in your machine is going to be the CPU cooler. Since we have a silent case in this build, using the stock cooler won’t create too much noise; however, if you are after absolute silence I recommend using an cooler. This one was designed to make minimal noise.

Noctua NH-D14

Install Bundle

Mega  Dropbox

This is a bundle that has all the software and drivers needed to get this build up and running. It includes.

  1. The Clover Bootloader
  2. Clover Configurator
  3. FakeSMC
  4. Ethernet Kexts

Unzip the archieve to the root of your installer and just follow the installation guide

Note: This build uses a GPU that requires the Nvidia web drivers to function. See RampageDev’s guide for details.

Update: The GTX 750 also must be booted with the flag PCIRootUID=1. You can set it under the boot tab in the clover configurator.

Disclaimers:

  • I personally have not built this exact computer,
  • The product links are amazon referral links that earn me a 4% commission. They help pay for Skyline’s server.

Sources

http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/HCL_10.10.1

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270453-28-best-digital-audio-workstation

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/355597-28-looking-silent-tower-case

http://www.rampagedev.com/?page_id=276

Fixing iCloud and iMessage in Yosemite

Apple has changed their identification methods when connecting to their online services including iMessage or iCloud. This means that most of the fixes you see online do not work anymore.  You will need access to a real mac for this to work correctly. Hopefully the Insanelymac guys will figure out a way to do this without a real mac soon.

This guide is designed to work with Clover. Before you begin, make sure you are running the latest version of the Clover Bootloader.

1. Insure than your NVram is functioning

NVram is a small bit of memory that is not reset upon reboot. Apple macs come with this function by default, but hackintoshes can require a few more steps.

Open the terminal and input the following commands:

sudo nvram TestVar=TestVal nvram -p

You should see TestVar  TestVal printed out.

Now reboot your machine and enter

nvram -p

If you still see TestVar  TestVal printed out then you’re NVram is working properly, and you can skip to step 3.

2. Enabling NVram

clover-settings-nvram

Run the Clover installer on your boot partition selecting only to install the RC scripts on target volume. The optional RC scripts may help as well, so I suggest installing them as well.

The script will simulate NVram by writing the NVram values to disk at shutown and loading them at boot.

3. Insure your network adapter is set to en0

Apple Services will only work if your ethernet adapter is identifying as en0. Type the following command into the terminal to check your network interfarces

ifconfig

ifconfig

You’re output will look different depending upon the network hardware you have installed. The important part is that your active adapter be set to en0. If this is not the case, you will need to reset your network configuration, otherwise skip to step 5.

4. Reset Your Network Configuration

Navigate to the the network configuration directory. This can be done with the following terminal command

open /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration

Backup and delete the following configuration files.

Note: you can backup configuration files by copying them to your desktop.

  • Com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
  • Com.apple.eapolclient.configuration.plist
  • NetworkInterfaces.plist

Remove the folder CaptiveNetworkSupport

Now open System Preferences > Networking and remove all your network interfaces using the minus button. Make sure you write down your VPN configurations or static IPs if you have any, before removing them.

ethernet-settings

Now, Reboot your machine and add the interfaces back using the plus button. Make sure you add your ethernet interface first. You should only have to add back ethernet/wifi and VPN interfaces.

Now check your interfaces with ifconfig again. Your ethernet card should now register as en0.

5. Inject A Correct Serial Number

Open the Clover Conigurator and mount your UEFI partition using the provided button.

Open your configuration file located in EFI/EFI/CLOVER/config.plist

Under the SMBIOS tab, click the wand button. Select the correct SMBIOS (usually an iMac with similar a similar processor to yours) You can see what your SMBIOS is currently set to under About This Mac.

smbios1

Next, click the shake button for the Week of Production and unit number

Go to https://selfsolve.apple.com and enter the serial number you generated. If the site does not give you an error, click the shake button again and generate a new serial. The reason for this is that you want a unique serial that is not being used by another mac. Once you get a serial number that generates an error, click OK.

Now open a terminal window and type

uuidgen

Copy the output into smUUID. Your screen should now look similar to this

smbios2Now we need a a Board Serial Number. This can be created by taking the serial number and adding 5 digits, for example if your serial is C02LHIA7DNX1, your board serial number could be C02LHIA7DNX17E884. Remember, the board serial number must be 17 digits long.

6. Inject A Correct MLB and ROM Identifier

This is the tricky part. Apple has changed their verification process to only allow valid MLB (main logic board) and ROM identifiers. This means that you need to extract these values from a real mac.

Now you will need values from a real mac. It does not matter what model of mac you are using. Using the values will not cause any problems for the real mac.

Note: You should not use any values you find online as that could get your apple ID deactivated.

On a real mac, download and run the tool Apple Mac Hack You should see something similar to this. Do not press the generate button.

id-fake

 

At this point we are done with the real mac.

On your hackintosh, navigate to the Rt variables tab and fill in the appropriate boxes. Omit the colons in the ROM. Make sure you use UPPERCASE letters as lowercase letters will cause errors when attempting to sign in.

rt vars

Now make sure all fields in System Parameters are blank, save your Clover configuration and exit.

Disconnect your hackintosh from the internet and reboot.

Once you have reconnected to the internet you should be able to sign into iMessage and iCloud. If you have any issues, or if you find a way to generate valid MLBs without a real mac please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Sources

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/303073-pattern-of-mlb-main-logic-board/

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/298027-guide-aio-guides-for-hackintosh

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/302347-clover-imessagefacetime-fix-for-yosemite/

http://applemac.tools.greenosx.com/guide/

And We’re Back

Hacked

If you’ve tried to browse to this site in the past few days, you might have noticed a large red warning page saying the site contains malware.  We were hit by the SoakSoak wordpress attack. It attacks a site through the Revolution Slider plugin, and proceeds to install backdoors and malware into a site. This malware attempts to covertly download code from the domain soaksoak.ru.

Protecting Yourself

Considering the events of the past few days, I thought it might be nice to do a little bit on security.

For us hackintoshers, there isn’t as much of a chance for hacking and viruses as on windows. The basics still apply though. Update your machine as soon as there are updates available, don’t install questionable software, and use a secure browser such as Firefox, Chrome or Safari.  That will just about do it for a normal users; however, if you need to go a step beyond I have a few suggestions.

No Script

The largest opening modern desktop computers have to the outside world is through browsers, or more specifically through Javascript. Javascript exposes a lot of information and has been behind numerous attacks in the past. It is not fundamentally insecure, but the nature of it’s functionality means that exploits are common. Noscript is a browser plugin that allows you to restrict javascript to only run from domains that you trust. If you block all javascript the web becomes fairly unusable, so only use this if you’re alright with going through and allowing scripts from sites you trust.

KyPass

KyPass is an OSX port of KeePass, a popular password safe for windows. KyPass is unlocked with a master password, and stores all your passwords. This way you can easily use different passwords for every login. This means that if one site is compromised and your password is stolen, your other logins are safe. KeePass is also available on virtually every platform.

Encrypt Your Hard Drive

Most people aren’t aware that if your hard drive isn’t encrypted, I can simply take your computer, boot it off a USB drive and access all your data. Setting a BIOS password won’t stop me either; I can just pull the BIOS battery and everything is reset. If you have any data that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the world seeing on your hard drive, especially if it is a laptop I recommend encrypting your hard drive.  You can do this in disk utility, by adding an encrypted volume, and placing your files inside.

Anyway, our site is fully functional again. Happy Holidays, and stay safe out there.

Sources

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/soaksoakru-malware

http://thehackernews.com/2014/12/SoakSoak-Wordpress-Malware.html

http://blog.sucuri.net/2014/12/revslider-vulnerability-leads-to-massive-wordpress-soaksoak-compromise.html

All the new features in OS X Yosemite

Apple’s new version of OS X is finally here and Yosemite brings a host of new and improved features. From tweaks to the backbones of the engine to an entirely new visual flare, Mac users will have plenty of shiny new things to enjoy should they choose to upgrade. Below you will find an overview of the best changes that you should expect to see in OS X Yosemite to get you excited for the release.

A new look

The release of OS X Yosemite marks the end of a new era for the Apple ecosystem, starting with iOS 8 and now moving on to the computer platform. There are a lot of visual optimizations, some more apparent than others, including an all-new font, small tweaks to the UI, translucency effects across the board and more. Although a lot of the visual changes are subtle, it truly provides a breath of fresh air to OS X’s already great interface.

Integration with all Apple devices

Speaking of the Apple ecosystem, the company has decided to make all of its devices work together in unison, a feature that loyal fans will most definitely appreciate. Provided you use the same account and operate on the same Wi-Fi network across your devices, you can work and play in all of them seamlessly. Whether you want to answer a call from your iPhone in your Mac or start a document on one device and finish it on another, Yosemite will allow them to work in unison.

New Spotlight capabilities

Yosemite Reworked Spotlight

Yosemite Reworked Spotlight

If you already thought Spotlight was great, you are certainly going to love the new features added to your favorite search system. Apart from Spotlight’s usual capabilities of finding everything you want in your Mac, you will now be able to search a ton of new sources from the web, including the App Store, iTunes, Wikipedia, Bing and more.

A reworked Notifications Center

Yosemite Notification Center

Yosemite Notification Center

Forget everything you knew about the Notification Center. Although the utility is still the same in name, the similarities end there. Apple has completely reworked how the tool works, enabling for a much more fluent workflow. You can now get notifications from any app through interactive widgets which also means that you can completely remove the Dashboard in favor of the Notifications Center.

Improved versions of your favourite apps

Improved Safari Looks in Yosemite

Improved Safari Looks in Yosemite

All of your favorite apps like Safari and Mail have been improved both in regards to how they look and how they behave. Each program has received at least one major update without removing any of the functionality that has made them so popular. Be sure to take a look at every pre-installed app in your system as there is a good chance there will be a new feature to try out.

 

Yosemite Privacy Concerns

There are currently a few sites out there detailing some privacy concerns with 10.10 Yosemite, and recommending a few fixes. However, there is a bit more going on that what’s getting the most attention.

Spotlight

To help improve searching, Apple records your spotlight searches. This is a little sketchy, but I can see why they would do it. It makes spotlight more helpful. This can be disabled under System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results.

Safari also has a spotlight suggestions option which sends your searches to Apple. Keep in mind that this will happen even if you are using a secure search engine such as Duckduckgo or Startpage. This can also be disabled in Safari’s preferences; however, I would still recommend against using Safari as your primary browser.

Mail

If you set up an account through the mail app, the domain will be  sent to Apple for some reason. This means nothing if you use gmail or similar large scale services, but it could be unnerving to users of accounts on smaller domains. The solution to this is to simply use web based mail applications or something like Thunderbird.

About this mac and Cookies

Now for the interesting stuff. Whenever you open about this mac, data is transmitted to Apple including a cookie that is used to uniquely identify users. This cookie tracks the IP address that you initially visited Apple.com from, as well as the IP addresses from all subsequent connections to Apple through Spotlight or Safari. There appears to be no way to disable this. The data is still sent to Apple even if you have location tracking turned off, and have not signed into iCloud.

Conclusions

If you’ are concerned about your privacy, it might not be best to upgrade to Yosemite yet. The fix-macosx people are looking at solutions with firewalls to limit this data collection. Moreover f you really have something to hide, you probably shouldn’t digitize it at all, and if you must I recommend using a secure OS such as Tails.

Sources

https://github.com/fix-macosx/yosemite-phone-home

https://fix-macosx.com/

GTX 980 working in OS X 10.10

The Maxwell based GTX 980 appears to be working in OS X 10.10 Yosemite with the Nvidia web driver. The driver has been buggy with Maxwell cards during the developer previews of Yosemite, so it’s a little to early to tell if it’ll be completely solid. The good news is that all Maxwell cards should now work with OS X.

Download Yosemite Web Driver

For more detailed install instructions check out rampage dev’s web driver install guide. Note: the drivers he links are the old ones for Mavericks.

Sources

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/300923-gtx-970-compatibility/

http://netkas.org/?p=1356

Some Updates

I haven’t been around much, so I figure I’d better fill you guys in on what’s going on.

I started university this autumn. I’m at NC State getting a degree in CompSci. It’s just taken a lot of my time, and my living conditions aren’t exactly stable. I’m also working on a few other projects and I’m in the process of getting a part time development job. With all of that, I haven’t had much time for Skyline. I’ll probably pick it back up next semester when I get a decent place to work.

Backing up and Restoring your Hackintosh

Updating a hackintosh always has the potential for things to go wrong, so it is always recommended to have a backup copy of your data. The safest method is to have your data backed up to a seperate drive or NAS (Network Attached Storage); however, this can become very expensive especially if you have a lot of data. It can also be useful to backup your system to a seperate partition, so that you can revert if something goes wrong.

Tools for creating Backups

Time Machine Time Machine – Graphical

Time machine is Apple’s default backup mechanism. it works incredibly well alongside Migration Assistant to backup and restore data. If you want something that is very easy to use and well integrated, then time machine is your best option. Moreover, these is an application called Time Machine Editor, which adds a lot of the functionality missing from Time Machine.

SuperDuper – Graphical

SuperDuper is a 3rd party alternative to time machine. The basic version is free, but scheduled backups require the pro version which is priced at about $30. Unlike Time Machine, SuperDuper makes a full backup that is bootable. Note that booting from sepearate partitions on a single drive requires UEFI. If you make a copy of your drive using SuperDuper, you should see a second boot option in your Clover boot prompt saying something along the lines of “Boot OSX from Backup” or whatever you named your backup drive.

Carbon Copy Cloner -Graphical

Carbon Copy Cloner is very similar to SuperDuper. It schedules and creates fully bootable and restorable backups. You can also use these backups, as well as SuperDuper backups with Migration Assistant. Meaning that you can Create a backup > Clean install a new OS X version and then use Migration Assisstant to restore only your user files leaving the upgraded system untouched and fully functional. The only real downside to Carbon Copy Cloner is that it costs $40.

Rsync – Console

For more advanced purposes, or if you don’t want to shell out the money for the previous two tools, you can always use the rsync command which is included with Mac OS X. Rsync will create full bootable volumes just as the graphical tools will. To create a backup with rsync follow these steps:

Note: Your account must be set to Administrator for this to work.

  1. Format your backup drive in Disk Utility to OS X Extended (journaled). We’ll call it ‘Backup’ The drive should then mount and show up a drive on your desktop.
  2. Open a terminal and enter the following command: sudo rsync -aAHXv /* /Volumes/Backup –exclude={“.Spotlight-*/”, “.Trashes”, “/afs/*”, “automount/*”, “/cores/*”, “/dev/*”, “/Network/*”, “/private/tmp/*”, “/private/var/run*”, “/private/var/spool/postfix/*”, “/private/var/vm/*”, “/Previous Systems.localized”, “/tmp/*”, “/Volumes/*”, “/.Trash”}
  3. If the system spits out an error saying one of the locations listed in the –exclude doesn’t exist, you can remove it.
  4. You should now see a flood of filenames being listed as they are copied. This may take quite a bit of time.

Rsync supports incremental backups, so when you want to make your next backup simply run the command again with the –delete option to remove files from the backup that you have deleted.

Restoring to a newly upgraded system

Once you have upgraded or re-installed on your primary drive, you will want to restore all your data. The best way to do this is with Apple’s Migration Assistant as it will restore all your files without messing up any system configuration. Simply Navigate to /Applications/Utilities and open it.

Migration Assistant should then display any backup drives you have connected to your system directly or available over the network. Migration Assistant will work with any of the backup solutions listed above. It can also restore from another Hackintosh, Apple Mac or PC. Simply select the correct source and click continue.

Note: If you used the same username on both the new install and the system you are restoring from, Migration Assistant will ask if you wish to remove the account you created during the installation leaving your mac exactly as it was before.

Restoring in the Event of System Failure

Here you have two options. You can perform a clean install and restore with Migration Assistant, or if you created a bootable backup you can start your system from the backup and restore to your primary drive. This can be done at the Clover boot prompt.

Once you have booted the backup drive, format your primary drive using disk utility, and then restore the drive through SuperDuper, Carbon Copy or with the following rsync command:

sudo rsync -aAHXv /* /Volumes/<Name of the drive you are restoring to> –exclude={“.Spotlight-*/”, “.Trashes”, “/afs/*”, “automount/*”, “/cores/*”, “/dev/*”, “/Network/*”, “/private/tmp/*”, “/private/var/run*”, “/private/var/spool/postfix/*”, “/private/var/vm/*”, “/Previous Systems.localized”, “/tmp/*”, “/Volumes/*”, “/.Trash”}

You should then be able to reboot to your restored primary drive.

Sources

http://mac.appstorm.net/roundups/utilities-roundups/8-backup-solutions-for-os-x/

http://timesoftware.free.fr/timemachineeditor/

http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

http://bombich.com/index.html

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Full_system_backup_with_rsync

http://nicolasgallagher.com/mac-osx-bootable-backup-drive-with-rsync/

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